Cultural Identification – Azande Culture Vs Christianity Culture

Component Parts of Culture

Azande Culture

Christianity Culture

Kinship and Marriage There is a strong patrilineal bias with respect to kinship in the Azande society. Relationships are rarely traced back for a couple of generations. Marriage is viewed a contract that is fulfilled by payment of bride-wealth (Baxter and Butt, 1953). The father is the head of the family and the father’s name remains the family name even as the kinship spreads. Christians view marriage as sacred and a man is expected to marry his wife in a church wedding. Additionally, marriage is considered a union that becomes complete after payment of bride prize (Eliot, 1949).
Subsistence Strategy Cassava is now the main staple food. Other crops that are grown in the gardens include legumes, sorghum, sweet potatoes, bananas, maize, and rice. Daily diet is supplemented by fish women catch and game men hunt. Termites are largely eaten in the dry season (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). The stable food among Christians varies according to tribe. However, majority of Christians grow maize, sweet potatoes, and rice as their subsistence crops. Examples of domestic animals kept by Christians include cows, sheep, bigs, dog, cats, and goats. Christians supplement their subsistence crops with meat from other domestic animals like cows and pigs (Eliot, 1949).
Religion Azande people believe in a soul known as mbisimo. This soul is sometimes separable from the body. People’s souls are believed to turn into ghosts after death. The term ‘Zagi’ is used to refer to the universe in general as well as to the Supreme being (Baxter and Butt, 1953). Christians believe in God as the most Supreme being. Additionally, they believe in Jesus Christ as the son of God who came to the world to rescue human beings from sin. When  a person dies, Christians believe that his or her soul ascends to heaven where God resides (Eliot, 1949).
Political System and Social Control The Azande society comprises of various tribal kingdoms separated by huge unpopulated bushes. Each kingdom is divided into provinces, each of which is ruled by the king. The main thing that governs people’s behaviors in the Azande culture is a universal belief that witchcraft is the source of misfortunes, and that witches can only attack those people with whom they hold a grudge (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). Christians are led by politicians who are elected as per different administrative boundaries. They are free to elect their political leaders during election times. Behaviors of Christians are controlled by the belief that those who commit sin will be punished by God by being denied a chance of getting into heaven (Pannenberg, 1989).
Economics The Zandes generate money through pottery, wood carving, and blacksmithing. People who live near towns engage in trade, and both women and men earn their wages by playing roles that shows division of labor and specialization (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). Christians generate money through trade as well as though manufacturing and production. They take their farm produce to the market and they earn profits from them. Other Christians also earn wages by working as laborers in manufacturing companies (Pannenberg, 1989).
Characteristics of Culture The patrilineal male kin are charged with the obligation of inheriting property, debts, and wives. Children remain around their mother and girls learn women’s occupations until marriage. A woman always has her own hut where sleeps with her children (Baxter and Butt, 1953). Christians believe in one God whose Holy words are documented in the Bible. Every Christians therefore believes that the Bible contains the word of God that can be used to encourage others. Children remain under the care of their parents and girls are expected to learn women occupations. Some Christian families believe in wife inheritance (Pannenberg, 1989).
Learned Behavior Children learn new behaviors from their mothers with whom they spend most of their time. Girls are expected to learn new behaviors from women in the society (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). Children learn new behaviors from their parents as well as from school where they are taught by their teachers. The type of behavior learned influence what a person does as well as how he or she behaves in the society (Eliot, 1949).
Adaptive behavior The Zande people expect that their behaviors be transferred from generation to generation. Young ones prohibited from developing behaviors that are contrary to the society’s norms. However, new generations have adapted new behaviors that have lead to changes in some components of the Azande culture (Baxter and Butt, 1953). Christians encourage the transfer of moral behaviors from one generation to another. Basically, children are expected to live as they have been taught by their parents and it is expected that they live to teach their children similar behaviors (Eliot, 1949)
Constantly changes The Azande culture constantly changes due to variations on the society’s structure. The number and sizes of kingdoms are varied over time (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). Christian culture constantly changes due to influence of the Western culture and civilization. The young generation is replacing the Christianity culture with the Western culture (Pannenberg, 1989).
Is a System The Azande culture is a system that is led by two different dynasties. Although these dynasties differ in political strategy and in origin, they have similar organizations that help to unite the Azande society. The kingdoms have continued to expand and they are also characterized by in-depth consolidation (Evans-Pritchard, 1971). Christian culture is a system that is strengthened by religious leaders who are very strict about the word of God. These religious spread the word of God to people through constant preaching as well as through prayers (Pannenberg, 1989).
Is Symbolic Behavior Azande culture is symbolic in nature demonstrated by colorful ceremonial dresses that witch doctors are expected to put on. Instruments such as drum skins, wooden gongs, xylophones, whistles, and large bow harps form a very important part of the Azande culture (Baxter and Butt, 1953). Christianity is a symbolic behavior because the Christians behave in a manner that easily distinguishes them from non-Christiana. In addition, Christians use instruments such as, a piano and a drum, to praise God (Eliot, 1949).

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